September 2, 2011
IPWG NEWSLETTER OF 02.09.2011
BY ARMENAK MINASYANTS (SECRETARY OF THE IPWG, AEGEE-YEREVAN)
After a short summer rest I and your International Politics Newsletter are again back in action, with new concepts, analysis and information. By the ways since my last publication has passed rather a big period, so in order to fill that informational gap, which has occurred, this time I would try to give some extra materials to our readers.
So let’s turn to the World and see what exactly has happened during my absence….
Instability in Turkey
The Turkish jets bombed Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq in a series of air strikes last week which killed up to 160 rebel. There has been an increase in attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Turkey’s army this summer, casting doubt on the chances of peace talks.
The Turkish military has said that it would monitor rebel activity in the region and continue strikes until the rebels were “rendered ineffective”. Artillery fire supported the strikes. The strikes follow a deadly attack by the separatists in mid-August that killed nine Turkish troops and injured 14 in the district of Cukurca, in Hakkari province close to the border. “Turkish air forces jets efficiently hit the targets of the separatist terror organization in Zap and Gara regions between August 25-28 in 21 sorties,” a statement on the army’s website is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying. Heavy artillery fire was directed at 38 targets “in coordination with the air operation. Correspondents say there is little talk now of renewing the so-called “democratic opening”, an initiative from two year ago, which aimed to end the conflict in the south-east by expanding the rights of the Kurdish minority. The PKK, designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and the US, has waged a 26-year insurgency against the Turkish state. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the violence.
More on Kurdish Escalation could be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14584494
African Continent; the Endless Unrest
In this part I would try to turn to some processes which are taking place in the African Continent.
Ugandan police have banned a rally to celebrate the overthrow of North African leaders, saying it could incite violence. Opposition group Activists For Change called the rally for Friday to “celebrate people power in North Africa”. It printed a flyer, suggesting that Uganda’s long-serving President Yoweri Museveni could also be deposed. A government crackdown on protests in April killed nine people. Police spokesman Vincent Sekate said the rally had been banned because of a dispute over the venue. ‘Museveni next’!!! “Furthermore, the purpose of the rally is likely to incite the public into violence,” he said. In the Activists For Change flyer advertising the rally, the photos of the ousted leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya are crossed out, with Mr Museveni – who has been in power since 1986 – lined up as the next to fall. Uganda has been rocked by a wave of protests since Mr Museveni was re-elected to office in February in a poll denounced as fraudulent by opposition groups. The opposition organised a series of protests against the rising cost of living in Uganda. Mr Museveni accused the protesters of plotting an Egypt-style uprising and warned that they could be jailed. In April, nine people were killed after the security forces intervened to end the protests. The main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, was assaulted, arrested and charged with inciting violence. The charges were later dropped. Mr Museveni has been a staunch critic of the Nato-led military intervention in Libya, saying it could trigger an arms race in the region. He urged the opposition to enter into dialogue with Col Muammar Gaddafi to resolve differences. Like many African countries, Uganda has refused to recognise Libya’s National Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of Libyans. Last month, Nato-backed rebels entered the Libyan capital, Tripoli, ending Col Gaddafi’s 42 years in power.
ICC and Kenya
The International Criminal Court has rejected an appeal by Kenya’s government to stop it putting on trial six people accused of links to 2008 post-election violence. The six include the deputy prime minister, two former ministers and an ex-police chief. They are accused of murder, deportations and persecutions by ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Some 1,200 died and more than 500,000 fled their homes in the violence. In the peace deal that followed in early 2008 it was agreed that those accused of crimes would face justice in Kenya or at the ICC in The Hague. After Kenyan MPs blocked moves to set up a local tribunal, the ICC’s chief prosecutor named the six high-profile Kenyans in December 2010. Eight months on, Kenya’s government failed to convince a majority of the ICC judges that it had now started its own investigations into the violence. One judge did, however, side with Kenya in its last-ditch effort to get the case abandoned. The Kenyan judiciary is being reformed but most Kenyans still prefer the ICC option as people simply do not believe these senior politicians would face a fair trial at home. The accused were all senior allies of President Mwai Kibaki or his election rival Raila Odinga, now prime minister. However, one of the accused – former Higher Education Minister William Ruto – has since fallen out with Mr Odinga and says he will contest presidential elections due next year. He was sacked last week. Henry Kosgey – another former minister – and radio executive Joshua Arap Sang are also accused of organising attacks on supporters of Mr Kibaki, especially in the Rift Valley. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali are accused of mobilising pro-Kibaki militias to attack people seen as supporters of Mr Odinga. Kenya’s government has been lobbying for the cases to be dropped – a position endorsed in February by the African Union.
More could be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12831054
South Kordofan and UN
Sudan has lodged a complaint with the UN Security Council, accusing newly independent South Sudan of backing rebels in an oil-rich border region. Earlier, human rights groups accused Sudan of bombing civilian areas of South Kordofan, despite declaring a ceasefire there last week. The UN says some 200,000 people have fled the area, where Sudan has denied charges of ethnic cleansing. Many ethnic Nubans fought with the south during the two-decade civil war. After the independence of South Sudan, they found themselves led by the Khartoum government which they had spent years fighting. The unrest began after the Sudanese authorities tried to disarm the fighters. But human rights groups have accused Sudan of the indiscriminate bombing and shelling of civilian areas. It is difficult to get accurate information from the area as journalists and diplomats are barred from the region and the UN faces restrictions on its movement. South Kordofan is the only oil-producing region in Sudan, as some 75% of the unified country’s oil came from what is now South Sudan.
Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti accused the South Sudanese government of being “hostile” towards its northern neighbour.
Mr Bashir’s ceasefire announcement, made last week during an unannounced visit to the state’s capital Kadugli, caught his own military – and the rebels they are fighting – by surprise. However, researchers from both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say they saw Antonov planes dropping bombs in what they say appeared to be civilian areas. They also accuse the Sudanese government of blocking aid deliveries to desperate displaced people. “The Sudanese government is literally getting away with murder and trying to keep the outside world from finding out,” said Amnesty’s Donatella Rovera. “The international community, and particularly the UN Security Council, must stop looking the other way and act to address the situation.” The Sudanese authorities say they are fighting a legitimate war against rebels, and any air raids are on military targets. A UN report published this month warned that war crimes may have been committed in South Kordofan. It said that atrocities had been committed on both sides, but the army’s actions were “especially egregious” – referring to summary executions, aerial bombardments and the shelling of neighbourhoods. When South Sudan split from the north on 9 July, the new country’s leader, Salva Kiir, said he would work with Mr Bashir to ensure the rights of former southern rebels in the north were respected.
More could be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14718892
Focus on Libya
TRICOULOUR INSTEAD OF GREEN; STORY OF THE MODERN REVOLUTION – PERSONAL ANALYSIS AND REMARKS
During this last 6 months I really could not remember a IPWG Newsletter in which I have not turned to Libya and Muammar Gaddafi…no, no, do not think that I am living bearing in my mind that guy or I am his fan…yes yes,,,you are right I like him and his son on my Facebook page but I have done it just done it, because I was thinking at that time that Mr. Gaddafi may try to use social networks in order to propaganda, to promote his actions against his own people, which directly contradicts to the norms of the international criminal law. So, anyway let’s just again try to look back and try to evaluate what we have now and find out what has brought to us the victory of the rebels.
The fight for Libya has been long and hard – and the struggle for its reconstruction is not likely to be any easier. After four decades of the Gaddafi, infrastructure in the country is limited. My personal analysis state that there is a corresponding deficiency in Libyan civil society. It is nation-building, but with a difference, compared to places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Regime change in Libya has been an endogenous process, in that it was the people themselves who rose up against their government. So it will be the Libyans themselves who will have ownership of the reconstruction of their country. But where do they start? So it would be better to define the challenges that lie ahead.
The first thing; what kind of role France and other countries who took part in the military campaign will have in Libya in the future? In my personal opinion it is true that France and the UK have been leading the military operations against the Gaddafi regime, to help the rebels topple Gaddafi. But I think what is important for Libya is to develop a new system, new institutions to help run the country, because Libya has no institutions apart from those run by Gaddafi. The challenges for the future are difficult and I do not think the National Transitional Council will be able to handle them alone, as they look too unorganized and unhelpful.
The second and I think one of the most important things; what the strategy should be for disarming the rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces, so that weapons are only in the hands of official security forces? Again I consider that we all know there are Islamic groups among the rebels. Also, there are an enormous number of weapons spread across the country. They have either come from Gaddafi or other countries, or even cross-border smuggling. It is difficult to know how to gather those weapons. Hmmmm…difficult but not impossible…. So it would be one of the biggest issues with which would face the transitional government.
Thirdly; How would develop relations between Algeria and Libya, after members of the Gaddafi family went there? I don’t think that welcoming part of the Gaddafi family to Algeria for humanitarian reasons will end the relationship with Libya. There is a pragmatic and realistic wing within the National Transitional Council and it tends to build healthy relations with neighbouring countries, mainly Algeria, as Algeria maybe is not the most democratic state in the world, but it is very influential in the Arabic World and is a big player in the North Africa.
Fourthly; My dear reader, how do you think Libya, which has been prevented from political pluralism since 1969, is ready for a democracy? And here we face with the big problem. There are big fears after information suggested some organisations took part in fighting in Afghanistan, such as the al-Jama’a Almoqatila in Libya, headed by Bilhaj, who is currently the chief of Tripoli’s military council. The fear is that those organisations may get involved in the political system.
So my final evaluation of the present situation in Libya is; therefore, the National Transitional Council is not ready and cannot rule, but it is a tool to help the transition into a political system.
The only thing which has been gone truly is the former Green flag of Libya…..now we have Tricolor…hope it would help the National Transitional Council….Author : ipwg